The popularity of outdoor living has been on the rise in recent years. As more people are looking for ways to spend increasing time outside without having to leave the comfort of their own homes. And can we really blame them? Now that we’re in the heart of summer coming home to a shaded patio, refreshing pool, or a home cooked barbeque seems like the perfect way to end the long work day or to enjoy a relaxing weekend. Regardless of whether you have a sprawling backyard or a small confined space, there are plenty of ways to upgrade your home so that you can have an easy excuse to spend more time in the refreshing outdoors. Need some ideas? Check out a few of these current popular trends.
Easy Transition from Indoor to Outdoor
With how much people love getting outdoors these days, it shouldn’t be a surprise that one of the current top trends is to make the indoor to outdoor transition as easy as possible. Luckily innovations in the door industry has made this a manageable goal. Look for doors that either provide a large opening, have a lot of window space, or even accomplish both. French style doors have long been popular, but some newer options that are gaining traction are things like sliding doors or stackable doors. These doors can be opened to allow for large openings between the outside and inside.
A large backyard is not required to be able to enjoy outdoor living. Smart planning and use of space can help turn even the smallest of backyards into a personal oasis. Available space will play a factor in what elements of outdoor living can be included (unfortunately things like pools do need a certain amount of space). But patios or outdoor kitchens can more easily be adapted depending on available space. And smaller spaces often mean more money can be invested per square foot.
Ensuring that outdoor living spaces feel like a natural part of the home is another top trend. Outdoor living spaces are being designed to fit in or complement the existing home and not stand out as a strange eyesore that doesn’t belong. A modern or contemporary design will feel strange when paired with a traditional or country rustic designed home. Using similar if not identical materials to the home itself is another key to achieving this seamlessness. Exterior brick and siding can easily be transitioned for use on outdoor built ins and there are some materials, such as tile, stone, and some woods, that are able to be used both inside and outside.
Fully Equipped Outdoor Kitchens
Grills and smokers are nice, but a fully equipped outdoor kitchen is the way to go if you’re looking to spend a quality amount of time outdoors. Plus it can help cut down on mess and too much back and forth between the inside and out. The less transfer required between your indoor kitchen and outdoor kitchen the better. Some things to consider beyond the standard cooking appliances are a cleanup station, cabinets with plenty of countertop space, and even perhaps a refrigerator or smaller beverage fridge. Unique cooking appliances, such as pizza ovens or deep fryers, are also becoming quite popular.
Protection from the Elements
Summer is likely the first season that comes to mind when thinking of times when an outdoor living area will see the most use. But with the right planning outdoor living could be used year-round. One way to achieve that is to include protection from the elements. Outdoor heaters, fireplaces, or fire pits can make outdoor living spaces more habitable in the winter. Screens or mosquito sprayers can help combat unwanted pests from getting in. And even in the summer, things like outdoor fans or built in shade can help make an outdoor space more habitable.
Minimal Maintenance Materials
Perhaps you have avoided adding an outdoor living space because you just see it as more space to care for. Completely neglecting the care of your outdoor living space is inadvisable, but there are materials that require less care than others, and that is probably one of the key reasons why they are currently so popular. For flooring consider using concrete or stone versus wood. Landscaping that requires less upkeep would be good to consider and you could always add in more hardscaping to cut down on how much greenery you will need to care for.
Don’t let the lack of natural light force you to retreat inside. Outdoor lighting can help to extend the amount of time you spend outdoors. It is also a clever way to decorate and add some design to your outdoor space. Cafe string lights are a popular choice. Lighting can also be used to either highlight certain architectural features or be a feature all on its own. Color changing pool lights can also be a fun way to liven things up.